Transforming To-Dos at Work
The to-do list is ubiquitous, and the reason is obvious. We like to have a way to track the myriad things we need to and want to get done. However, an undifferentiated to-do list is not helpful and in fact it can bring our energy down just to look at it. It is more powerful to start your day focusing on your intentions. Each day decide and declare how you want to show up in love and service and what you would like to experience that day, rather than looking at a mountain of things to do.
We are not mere "doers." Start with how you want to be and the doing flows from that.
One way to transform your to-do list and be more productive when you do turn to it is to use the 4 Ds. The 4 Ds are a filter for assessing your action items and taking you through an inquiry process to reveal the best path forward. The four D's:
Questions to ask of each item as you use the 4 Ds: Is this moving my strategic priorities (most important things) forward? Can someone else do this to free me up for using my highest skills? Is it fun or interesting for me to do it? Does it really have to be done sooner rather than later? Does it really have to be done at all? Do I have massive resistance to doing it? (In that case a delay or releasing to the universe might be in order until you can see a way forward.)
You can teach your employees to do this as well, using their job responsibilities and priority projects as a guide. If they are overwhelmed and that is affecting their effectiveness, you can go through it with them.
Here are the steps for transforming the To-Do List:
- Write down everything you feel you need to do or use a list you have already prepared. Organize by each priority project if you prefer. Download your brain, not leaving anything floating around in there, which just saps your energy.
- Write down next to each item one of the four categories: Do, Delegate, Delay, Drop. Use the questions above to assist you to decide on each one. Re-organize the list according to the categories and put a due date and action steps to implement each one. Be ruthless and self-loving in this process!
- Focus on the Dos with renewed energy (but not pushing which can produce resistance and stifles creativity) because you are committed to getting them done. Pass off the Delegate tasks. Take your attention off the Delay and Drop tasks - take them off your list altogether with a note to return to the delayed items.
- Celebrate your achievement. Remember to connect with how you feel as you act on each item. Get to the best feeling place that you can as you take your actions, and you will be in the flow. Be grateful for what you have gotten done rather than focusing on what is left to do.
- Rinse and repeat, as necessary.